Zucchini Smoked Salmon Cakes with Lemon Dill Dip

If you're looking for an easy, impressive, make-ahead appetizer you need look no further! These salmon cakes were a hit a few weeks ago at our seafood "themed" dinner – both from my perspective of making them and our guests perspective of eating them.

Honestly, I really just can't think of a better appetizer to make when you're looking to spare day-of cooking time so you can actually engage with your guests. I made both the cakes and the dip the day before. Then, just before everyone was set to arrive, I threw the cakes back in the oven to warm up and voilà!

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Ingredients:

For the cakes
2 c. shredded zucchini (about 2 medium zucchinis)
1/4 c. red onion, very finely diced
1 c. Panko crumbs
2 eggs
1 T. Dijon mustard
1 T. mayonnaise
1/2 c. grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1 t. chili flakes
1/2 t. sea salt
100 grams smoked salmon, chopped

For the Lemon Dill Dip
3/4 c. Greek yogurt
2 T. yellow mustard
2 T. mayonnaise
1 T. fresh dill, chopped
1 T. lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
pepper, to taste

Directions:

For the cakes
1. Heat your oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with Pam or grease with butter/Crisco.
2. Shred the zucchinis using a food processor. Place the zucchini in a colander lined with a tea towel and let sit.
3. While the zucchini is draining, mix all the remaining ingredients for the cakes in a large bowl.
4. Make sure the zucchini is heavily drained of water by twisting up the tea towel and squeezing the contents. When drained, add to cake mixture and combine.
5. Using your hands, form small patties (about 1-1.5 inch rounds) and place on the greased baking sheet. Make sure you firmly press the mix together so no cracking or crumbing occurs while they bake.
6. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven, flip, and bake another 6 minutes or until lightly brown. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

For the dip
1. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together Greek yogurt, yellow mustard, mayo, lemon juice, and minced garlic. Gently fold in fresh dill. Pepper to taste, if desired.

(Recipe via Flavour and Savour.)

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Quick & Easy Refrigerator Dill Pickles

My boyfriend and I have been wanting to try our hand at making pickles for a while now, so we finally planted cucumbers in the garden this year to try it out. The first few fruits of the crop were just starting to ripen so we decided to make our first batch of pickles this 4th of July.

Being beginners, I did some research and opted to try a “quick-and-easy” pickling method/recipe first. This recipe is perfect for us because it was proportioned for a small batch of cucumbers, which is all we had. It also is a refrigerated pickling recipe, i.e. the pickles will only last a handful of weeks, instead of traditional pickling/canning which makes products last a handful of months. Eventually we’d like to get to real canning, but for our first attempt I thought the refrigerated version would be a good place to start.

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Ingredients:

Cucumbers (We used 4 medium bush cucumbers – they made 3 jars of pickles.)
3 ½ c. water
1 ¼ c. vinegar
1 T. sea salt
2 cloves garlic minced or cloves
Peppercorns (this is to taste, but about 20 per jar)
Fresh dill

Directions:

(Note: Don’t forget to sanitize your jars (and lids) before using them.)
1. Start by cutting the cucumbers however you like – chips, spears, etc.
2. Add the water and vinegar to a saucepan over high heat and bring to boil.
3. Add the sea salt and remove from heat and let cool.
4. Add the fresh dill into a large mason jar.
5. Add the pickles and pack as many as you can fit in the jar.
6. Next add the whole or minced garlic and peppercorns to the jar.
7. Once the vinegar and water has completely cooled, pour it over the cucumbers into the jars.
8. Seal the jar with a very tight lid and shake to mix all the ingredients together.
9. Place in the fridge and leave them for 24-72 hours before opening.

(Recipe loved and found on My Frugal Adventures.)